We saw a post on Facebook that is redoing the rounds (it’s actually an old story from 2007) which is headlined as above. In fact, it was a green attempt that sadly didn’t achieve its objectives.
This headline, particularly with such an accusatory explanation, is very misleading... it makes it appear as if someone has just done something very bad; that we need to get angry about it and demand someone do something about it. The fact is that in 1972, tyres were bundled together with nylon and steel, and placed there to form an artificial reef - the Osborne Reef - in the hope that it would attract an abundance of marine life.
Backed by Ray McAllister, a professor of ocean engineering from Florida Atlantic University, it was meant to double or triple marine life in the area. Unfortunately, the result they had hoped for wasn't achieved and over time many of the bundles broke apart, spread on the ocean floor and were further scattered by hurricanes, naturally causing damage to the eco system. In 2007 the US Navy began a recovery program which appears to be on-going. They are using it a as training ground for their divers...although the Florida State environmental protection department have not issued updates since 2009. So what you see is something that was well intended, but which went wrong, but has not been ignored and environmental groups are still trying to rectify.
I share this purely as an example of the importance of reading beyond the headlines, both good and bad, in order to dig out the true facts on sustainable issues rather than taking things at face value.
Sharon Childs – FD, Head of Sustainability
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